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Elder Hut, Tararua Forest Park

Photo: Peter Laurenson
Area
Tararua Forest Park
Distance
41.3km
Total Ascent
3318m
Time
Otaki Forks to Elder Hut via Mt Hector, 6-8hr; Mt Hector to Elder Hut, 3-4hr; Elder Hut to Otaki Forks via Waiotauru River, 8-10hr
Grade
Moderate
Accom.
Field Hut, 20 bunks; Kime Hut, 20 bunks; Elder Hut, four bunks; Renata Hut, six bunks
Access
Otaki Forks car park
Map
BP33
GPX File
Elder Hut.Tararua FP (gpx, yo 118 KB)
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In clear weather, the Tararuas offer lovely views and, arguably, some of the best can be enjoyed between Mt Hector and Elder Hut, which sits just above the bush line at 1110m. The sparkle of sunset and sunrise is a wonderful experience from this little gem. From Otaki Forks head up and over Mt Hector, then along Dress Circle Track to Renata Ridge. From Elder Hut, pass the bush-enclosed Renata Hut and over Kapakapanui, from where it's rather satisfying to gaze back and relive your journey. The less logistically challenging return option is to take the longer but mostly downhill route out along the Waiotauru River to Otaki Forks. Just branch off at Maymorn Junction above Renata Hut.